You’ve seen that super-fit person at the gym, jumping from exercise to exercise. You might think to yourself “Holy moly, if that’s what it takes to look fit, I’m out!” or “that could never be me.”
What you’ve witnessed at the gym are: metabolic workouts.
Believe it or not, that super-fit person probably USED to think the exact same thing, most likely in a very similar scenario. The great thing about metabolic workouts is that they are “metabolically relative.” In other words, you might not be able to perform a workout at the same rate or caliber as the super-fit gym goer, BUT your metabolic workout is right for YOU!
“One woman’s metabolic workout is another woman’s poison”
The following myths are meant to help you on your journey to becoming the fittest version of yourself, through metabolic training.
The bottom line is these workouts WORK, if you work them.
Let’s explore (and maybe BUST) a few metabolic exercise myths:
Myth 1: You Should Feel Exhausted After EVERY Workout
“You can go hard, or you can go home.” Unfortunately, many women are choosing to go home and not partake in exercise. In the age of workout programs like P90X, Crossfit, and Insanity many of us have convinced ourselves that if we aren’t completely exhausted, fatigued, crying “uncle” during and after our workouts then they aren’t effective. This is incorrect and can be dangerous.
If every week you workout to the point where you are sore for a few days you are probably over-training. Over-training happens when your workouts start working against you, instead of for you. Eventually your performance will deteriorate , your immunity will lower, and ultimately the thing you fought so hard for…your metabolism, will begin to suffer.
Unless you workout for a living, your workouts should be intense, but enjoyable.
A good metabolic workout taxes your muscles and heart rate, but when you’re down you should still have some gas in your tank. For the most part a workout shouldn’t interfere with everyday activities.
Remember, exercise should elevate your mood!
Myth 2: Plyometrics are NOT safe
Some of the best workouts for women incorporate plyometric type exercises. Why? Our bodies were designed to jump, hop, skip, and play. Plyo is just one letter away from PLAYO!
Plyometrics CAN become unsafe when you are either aren’t ready to jump, you perform the wrong exercise for your current state of fitness, or you are being improperly coached.
The key to plyometrics, especially for beginners is to start slow. Begin with jumping rope (or on a trampoline), hopping in place, then progress to an exercise like a stationary jump squat (one of my favorite exercises).
Plyometrics are designed to increase muscular power, dynamic strength, and bone density. When implemented and performed correctly they can be a great addition to your metabolic workout.
Find ways to add a plyometric exercise of two to your fitness routine.
Myth 3: ALWAYS Go Fast…The Faster the Better
The purpose of a metabolic workout is to…you guessed it, increase your overall metabolic rate. Not necessarily, during your workout (although you will burn calories), but more importantly AFTER your workout, while at rest.
You don’t kill yourself or give yourself a panic attack during your workout because you feel the need for speed. Especially if you are just starting an intense exercise program, take your time with each exercise. This is the time you are conditioning and/or re-conditioning your body with movements and movement patterns.
To accomplish a high metabolic rate through exercise, does not require you to go at warp speed during your workout.
While it is generally a good idea to transition from exercise to exercise fairly quickly, ignoring your body’s signals, form, and intuition is not recommended.
As I like to say, sometimes you need to slow down to speed up!
Myth 4: Workout Every day for MORE Results
One of the most destructive actions many women believe to be true in order to lose weight is that they NEED to work out intensely every single day. This is due to many false beliefs, including: the need to burn excess calories, more exercise = better shape, and they must work out every day or they will become unmotivated.
I’ve seen women go to the same exercise class every day for 2 years with NO results, in fact, many would see inhibited progress.
It’s not the quantity of exercise, it’s the quality.
You know your time is valuable, why fill your precious time with exercise that isn’t efficient? Choose to partake in high quality exercise sessions and give it your all during those sessions.
Again, this falls into the “less is more” concept of fitness training. When your workouts are efficient and effective at getting you weight loss results, not only are you more likely to do them, but you will actually SEE results.
Myth 5: Circuit Training is the ONLY Type of Metabolic Workout
Although circuit style training or interval training is the most popular form of metabolic training it is definitely not the ONLY, effective type of metabolic workout.
You could technically perform a super-set style workout like:
Do 3 sets of each, 10 reps of each, with a 1-minute rest at the end of the super-set.
- Bent over row
- Mountain Climbers
The above is not a circuit workout, BUT it is a metabolic resistance training workout.
Interval style training is my personal favorite, because of the intensity and variety, but when if you ever get bored of metabolic workouts there are other effective ways to exercise.
Incorporating cardio exercises can also shake things up without bringing the potential negative consequences of long distance cardio with it.
Not all metabolic workouts are created equal, but they all have the same goal…fat loss.
Myth 6: You Burn LESS Calories than Traditional Cardio
The awesome underrated characteristic of metabolic workouts is their ability to burn a significant amount of calories DURING a workout. Most people discuss only the “after-burn” effect of these type of workouts, allowing long bouts of cardio workouts to swoop in and shout “I burn more calories during your workout.”
The best type of workouts focus on what happens while you are at rest, instead of what happens physiologically during your routine. However, if you look at the numbers, metabolic workouts can and often do burn just as many if not more than traditional cardio.
If you ask me, I’d much rather work out hard for 30 minutes, instead of spending an hour and half on a treadmill.
Understanding the different types of workouts and why one workout is better than another can be confusing. If you want to experience the magic fat-burning power of metabolic workouts, click the image below to download 7 personal trainer guided metabolic workouts:
If you have any questions about metabolic exercise, ask me in the comment section!